Hunterdale station torn down

Published 10:53 am Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Hunterdale Service Center was recently torn down to make way for a Duck Thru convenience store. - DON BRIDGERS/TIDEWATER NEWS

HUNTERDALE—Neil Baker, the former owner of Hunterdale Service Station, has sold his property at 747 Hunterdale Road to Jernigan Oil Co. in Ahoskie, N.C.

Baker understands that Jernigan plans to develop a Duck Thru convenience store at the location of the former auto repair shop and gas station in Hunterdale.

Michael Harrell, president of Jernigan Oil, could not be reached Tuesday.

The building that housed the former service center was torn down a few weeks ago.

Hunterdale Service Center closed on March 31, 2011, after being part of the community for more than 50 years. One of the reasons for its closing was higher gas prices, which made it difficult for Baker to make a profit.

In recent years, gas sales had dropped. When prices spiked, motorists opted for the cheaper convenience stores.

The 48-year-old Baker’s health problems — including two failed knee replacements and a ruptured disc in his back — also contributed to the decision.

Baker’s parents, Jackie Baker Hicks and the late Hector Baker, operated the two-bay, full-service gas station for 24 years, beginning in the early 1970s. Their son took it over in 1996.

Jernigan owns 34 Duck Thru convenience stores in Virginia and North Carolina, according to its website.

In Western Tidewater, there are stores at 30001 Smith’s Ferry Road, Franklin, and 23141 Main St., Courtland.